Everything's kicking off in Search Engine Land and it isn't just in the boardroom:
First we had the on-off Yahoo - Microsoft Deal.
Then we had the Yahoo - Google deal.
Microsoft has since bought Powerset
Yahoo shareholder Carl Icahn is trying to oust the whole Yahoo board that resembles all the best plots from Eastenders rolled into one which will play out on the 1st August at a shareholder meeting
Yahoo and Microsoft are placing themselves in the best position to buy AOL, which is partly owned by Google, give all the fallout of the above.
Phew! As if that isn't enough boardroom shenanighans all three companies haven't forgot what they normally do - Search:
Microsoft has been working on AdLabs, feedback I've read says the advertising platform is much improved, so much so that Companies who run PPC for clients are beginning to see Live starting to overtake Yahoo as the next best thing after Adsense.
Yahoo has recently bought analytics company Indextools to compete with Google Analytics.
Google seem remarkably good at forgetting what there best at and want to be better at everything else too but still have that incredibly annoying nack of still having their core service performing outstandingly. We've had amongst many things the continuing development of various software tools such as Google Docs, forays into the mobile phone market with Android, we've had Google launching a new virtual world called Lively, we've had Google webinars and...
Last but by no means least we had the change to the Adsense platform where Google are now giving actual figures on keywords research. Keyword Research is critical to every project we do and is always the first stage of any project. We'd be stuffed without it, optimising a keyword is easy, ok it's not as easy as all that i hear you say, but the point is what do you optimise for? This is why doing research is so important. There are a number of keywords tools. As I've mentioned before Microsoft have launched Adlabs which is mightily impressive and at the moment looks far better than anything the other two are doing, however Live has about a 5% market share, 10% if were being generous. Ultimately doesn't matter how great a tool is you can't optimise something in Google (70% market) with figures from MSN. Now Google give us the figures we can do exactly that.
Previously using overture data (Yahoo PPC) was the next best thing until they stopped running actual figures live and changed it for something far less superior, they do still run figures people keep telling me, yes they do but I kindly point out they're from Jan 07, that is they're not live, be interesting to see what Yahoo will now do, give that the other two now run live figures.
Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery are other popular tools, however if you want to optimise for Google your better of using AdLabs given the market share. Both give out a plethora of bizarre keywords combinations that make it very difficult to actually work out what terms people are using in Google. People tell me Keyword Discovery is good but it's so US biased that us poor folks in the UK can't really tell how good it supposedly is, personally I doubt it!
The feedback so far is that figures are very accurate. One thing I know, it makes my life a lot easier.